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Going Back to School as a Busy Mom

In today's fast-paced world, moms are expected to wear a lot of hats: mom, chef, counselor, maid, nurse, teacher, friend . . . the list goes on. With all these demands, many wonder how it's even possible to fit "student" into the mix.

In a recent Mom Nom podcast episode, Co-Host Tia Gerdsen talked about her experience and how she managed to fit school around the demands of life and being a mom: "It's very life-giving in a lot of ways."

Listen to the full podcast episode at

The Balancing Act

Mom life is a constant juggling act. From taking care of kids to managing household chores and, many times, working a full-time job, finding time to invest in yourself can be a daunting and seemingly insurmountable task.

However, it’s not impossible. Many moms are finding ways to make it work with more rigorous and intentional schedules, seeking help from a spouse or friend, and realizing they have more time in their day than they realized. It truly takes a village, and a sound support system makes a big difference when balancing the juggling act of being a mom. Adding education to an already full plate is possible.

Tia said, “The flexibility of the program that I’m in with CCU makes it possible for me to work it around my schedule - and we just make it work. I do my work most evenings and sometimes on the weekends.

Balancing academics and career goals with daily life can seem daunting, but it can be much more manageable than you realize with the right approach and helpful tips:

  • Time Management: One of the most critical aspects of balancing school with family life and work. Plan your week, allocating specific study, work, and leisure periods. Tools such as online calendars or task management apps can be extremely helpful.
  • Create a Dedicated Study Space: A specific and organized study area can help you focus and maximize your study time. This place should be free of distractions and equipped with all the necessary materials.
  • Seek Support: Don't hesitate to seek help from your support system, whether it's your family, friends, or academic advisors. They can provide emotional support, help with your responsibilities, and offer academic advice.
  • Self-Care: It's easy to overlook your well-being amidst the hustle and bustle of life and pursuing your degree. However, prioritizing your health by eating well, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when necessary will make a big difference.
  • Stay Motivated: Remember why you want to go back to school and what you hope to achieve. This reminder will keep you motivated during challenging times.
  • Track Your Progress: It’s easy to focus more on what you have left to finish than what you’ve already accomplished. Create a list of classes you need to complete and mark them off your list when you complete each one. Having a list will help create visual encouragement and remind you that you are making progress - getting closer to your goal.

Implementing these tips can help make it possible for you to go back to school and create an equilibrium between your studies, homework, work, and personal life. Don’t forget to remind yourself that the outcome - an investment in yourself - is well worth the effort.

Tia shared, "I think anything you add to your life, you can make a priority if you really are intentional about it. And if you have the support of your family, I'll say, yes, I have a lot going on in my life, but I have met so many of our students who blow me away with their testimony and experience going back to school.

There's one mom I met who was a mom of three or four kids, worked a full-time job, and went back to school. Her daughter was diagnosed with leukemia while she was in school, and she had every excuse to drop out and say — I need to take a break — but she didn't, and she persevered.

She just speaks so highly of her professors and how supportive they were and how they prayed with her while she was in the hospital."

Online Classes: A Game-Changer

Higher education has evolved significantly over the years. What once required in-seat attendance and multiple classes per day now offers the flexibility of an online experience and classes in a manageable cadence.

There are tools available now that weren't available back then, things like Perla, which helps format your paper,” said Tia in the podcast. “It's amazing. You just cut and paste your source into this tool, and it creates the citation for you and formats your paper for you."

Here are how online classes and tools can make a real difference for busy moms:

  1. Flexibility: Online classes offer unparalleled flexibility, which is necessary when you have little ones to care for. You can schedule your own study time around your family’s needs. Whether it’s early mornings, late nights, or during naptime, you can choose when and where you study.
  2. Convenience: Online learning puts education and helpful tools at your fingertips. The user-friendly learning platform at CCU sets you up for success whether you participate in a coffee shop or your kitchen.
  3. Manageable Course Load: If you experienced the traditional college schedule, you remember taking multiple classes at once, leaving little time for anything else. While this is possible for a busy mom, it’s not always ideal or preferred. Most classes are only five weeks long - so you can take one class at a time and still get a full course load each semester.
  4. Supportive Community: From the first time you speak to someone at CCU all the way through graduation, you are supported by expert staff and faculty. Active class discussions are a large part of each class, so you collaborate with your classmates - even in an online environment.

"It's such a cool thing to be surrounded by other believers, moms and dads, and people struggling with the same challenges,” Tia shared. “I know several graduates I've met that come to graduation and meet these people for the first time, and it's like, hey, I can finally put a face to the name of the person I've been getting to know for the last three years."

Online learning offers significant benefits that resonate at professional, personal, and societal levels. Investing in your education pays off in manifold ways, enriching life experiences, enhancing career prospects, and contributing to lifelong learning.

Going back to school as a busy mom is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor, but it's also a deeply rewarding one. Online classes have revolutionized how we approach education, making it more accessible and flexible than ever before. With determination, time management, and a strong support system, you can achieve your educational and career goals while still being the amazing mom you are. It's a balancing act that can lead to a brighter future for you and your family.

It's so much more than just getting an education, which is another thing that surprised me,” Tia said in closing. “It's very life-giving. It's challenged me in my faith. It's challenged me in my studies in ways that bleed into other areas of my life.

Listen to the full podcast episode at

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